I will add one story about Columbus that impressed me of his greatness. On one of his four voyages west his ship was caught in a gale for about a month off the coasts of Brazil. He could not escape. Suddenly, an eerie roar was heard in the storm. A strange whirlwind could be seen in the dark approaching the ship. It was something out of the Apocalypse and not far away. The noise was deafening and the winds suddenly lulled still. All the sailors could hear was the roar of this thing as the ocean seemed to suck up before them into the heavens. Columbus took the Gospel of Saint John in his hand and stood at the prow facing the monster. He prayed and read at the top of his voice the In Principio erat Verbum. The water spout instantly changed course as if pushed by an angel and it skirted the ship. Next morning the sun rose in its majesty.
One more thing. Columbus was not trying to disprove anything about a “flat earth.” No real scientist believed that the earth was flat. None ever did, even going back to Ptolemy in the second century, and no doubt before him by Greek astronomers.
Donald McClarey, Catholic Stand: This is one of those years in which the government decreed Columbus Day, the second Monday in October, does fall on October 12, the date, under the Julian calendar, when Columbus discovered the New World. Columbus Day is observed also in Spain as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional and as the charmingly non politically correct term Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race for Hispanics) in most Latin American nations. Full tribute is here.